On Thursday May 7, the leaders of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) demonstrated a profound disdain for most people in Wisconsin. They removed 390 items from consideration in the budget process, including very popular measures like marijuana legalization, BadgerCare expansion, education opportunities, youth justice reform, taxing the rich, driver’s licenses for immigrants, and many many others. These were the JFC’s very first votes on the budget, and the way senator Howard Marklein and representative Mark Born ran the meeting showed their eagerness to rip off the people on behalf of their rich friends.Continue reading “JFC Starts with One Big Crooked Vote”
When the Joint Finance Committee went to Rhinelander to hear public testimony, extended special invitations to guards who abuse children at the Lincoln Hills / Copper Lake youth prisons. Here’s a video of their testimony, with some reactions and responses from regular people who don’t abuse children and try to justify it.
Despite many cultural differences, Wisconsin’s prison system has a similar negative impact on people in both under-resourced rural communities and Milwaukee’s northside. Those who have been cut out of the jobs economy, who’ve been marginalized and neglected by political elites, business owners, and corporations, are more likely to struggle with addiction, despair, and violence. We know what comes next – they end up going to prison.
In prison, negligence, abuse, and confinement cause great and lasting harm. People then return with that trauma to the same struggling communities they were taken from. The addedhe stigma of a criminal record further removes them from economic opportunities. They become more likely to resort to crimes of survival, or of addiction and emotional distress. In this way, prison drives up crime. It contributes to a cycle of harmful behavior, of people hurting their neighbors. Continue reading “Prison Hurts All of Wisconsin.”
Today, Governor Evers passed a law that gives money to police. It makes police and firefighters eligible for PTSD worker’s compensation.
Firefighters are fine. Cops are not. They are not workers and should not get worker compensation. The police are, and always have been the sworn enemies of the working class. They are the attack dogs of capitalism. When workers go on strike for labor protections, including worker’s compensation, it is the police who attack them and delay the passage of those laws. Continue reading “Governor Evers Ignores the People, Funds the Police.”
This article was sent to us by Ron Schroeder.
Probation & Parole agents have good reason to believe they have more power than a court – a chief judge said so.
Judge Jennifer R. Dorow is the chief judge of the 3rd Judicial Administrative District (Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, Jefferson, and Dodge Counties). She also chairs a criminal justice council. In open court, she said the Department of Corrections has “trump” power over the courts. Continue reading “Judge Dorow: DOC has “trump” power over the courts”
At last month’s Parole Commission staff meeting, the Chair, John Tate II made an interesting statement about the number of people the commission had granted releases to in the last year. Last Saturday, April 3, was the National Freedom Movement’s ParoleWatch2021 event, and the commission’s next monthly meeting is Wednesday morning (you can attend at 10 am via zoom here). so this seems like a good time to go in-depth about Tate’s work on the commission.
John Tate II came into his role as a reformer. He is a very diplomatic man and he’s in a delicate situation. Some who know and trust him believe he is doing the best he can in that situation, but anyone who is suffering, or knows and loves someone suffering in prison under the old law, knows that John Tate’s best has not been good enough.
If justice, fairness, reason, or any higher minded values held sway in Wisconsin, everyone serving under the old law, all 2800 of them, would be released by now. Organizers with FFUP, WISDOM, and the ACLU have been fighting to release people sentenced under the old law for years. The 53206 documentary featured the intransigent corruption of the parole commission in regards to one family: Baron and Beverly Walker. The commission and two-faced Milwaukee DA John Chisolm caved to pressure in Baron’s case, but they were very careful to ensure that his release would not create a precedent for the thousands of others in his same circumstances.
John Tate II holds the keys to these people’s cages, and he overwhelmingly refuses them freedom. Continue reading “John Tate’s Miserly Two Hundred”
Politicians in Madison want to build a prison, maybe two prisons. They want more cages in this state to hold people in. The leadership of both parties have prison-expansion plans in the upcoming budget, and if we do not fight back, these plans will go forward. More of our friends and neighbors will live behind bars. More people will suffer in solitary confinement. More will face racial or gender harassment, terror, negligence and abuse from prison guards as well as from medical and psychological staff.
We cannot allow this to happen. Continue reading “Prison Expansion: What and Who We Fight”
State Senator Lena Taylor is a polarizing figure in our community, and not in the sense that every politician in our country is polarized along party lines. Surely Republicans don’t like her (although after Thursday she may be looking to change this) but an increasing swath of Milwaukee’s “left” has a fair share of issues with her as well. But she does have her fans – I can recall several public calls to see her likeness muralized after showing up to a few marches during the 2020 uprising.
On Thursday March 18th at 10am at UWM’s Fireside Lounge State Senator Lena Taylor along with Committee Chair Van Wanggaard and some other boring republicans held a get together with their cop friends, where they all got paid to whine for 3 hours about how hard their jobs are, before spending their last hour at worst dismissing public feedback, and at best outright ignoring it. For their part, the two delegates from the city had some pushback on SB117.
Lena Taylor has teamed up with Van Wanggaard and some other death cult Republicans to sell a handful of “reform” bills that empower, fund, and legitimize the police. Oh, and there’s one that says cops shouldn’t rape the people they kidnap.
The rest of these are trash.
The public hearing on these bills will be, unexpectedly in Milwaukee at the UWM Fireside lounge on Thursday March 18th, at 10AM. Spending time in a room full of cops and gross anti-masking politicians is probably a bad idea, but anyone who wants to risk it, here’s the information.
Or, you can contact Senator Lena Taylor and tell her to withdraw support from the bills, especially SB117 and SB 124: Sen.Taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov 414-342-7176
In the meantime, we looked through Lena’s trash bills so you won’t have to. Here they are in order from “totally fucked” to “wait, how is that not already a law?”
We need to talk about the Wisconsin Republican Party’s fascination with killing Black people.
On a national level, the way Republicans lined up behind Trump led to even conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin describing the party as a cult. When the pandemic spread and Trump led his people onto a path of denial and conspiracy theory, Rubin got more specific: calling the party a death cult.
Republicans in Wisconsin epitomize that death cult zeal–with a particular racial focus. From their reactions to the last year of pandemic and protest, to the upcoming budget process, the policy aims of the Republican Party consistently pursue the deaths of Black people. Their obsession most recently manifested in the state senate’s passage of Senate Bill 8, which explicitly denies covid19 vaccines to Wisconsin’s highest risk population: prison captives. Continue reading “Wisconsin’s Republican Death Cult”